Review of Estonian Jazz Festival, Jazzkaar

The fifteen-day jazz marathon of the 17th Tallinn International Festival Jazzkaar came to an end on April 30th.

This 17th Jazzkaar was special in many ways - with its 50 concerts the festival was the largest one held so far. Likewise, the geographic scope of the festival was the most versatile - musicians from 25 countries appeared on the stages.

The concerts were held in 13 different locations in Estonia, which means more concerts than ever before were held outside Tallinn. In the capital the festival toured 15 different halls, allowing for much variation and exploration.

The main performers of the festival Dianne Reeves, Vinicius Cantuaria and The Bad Plus acknowledged the audience of Jazzkaar as one of the greatest in the world.

Among the favourite performers of this year's festival for the audience were Dianne Reeves (USA), Eivor Palsdottir (Iceland) and Villu Veski World Project, The Bad Plus (USA), Solveig Slettahjell and Slow Motion Quintet (Norway), Boi Akih (Indonesia-India-Holland), Portal-Sclavis 4tet (France), Vinicius Cantuaria (Brazil), B-Bug (Greece), PercaDu (Israel) and Tortured Soul (USA).

The youngest star of the festival was the 16-year-old Italian saxophone player Francesco Cafiso and the oldest the 71-year-old French multi-instrumentalist and composer Michel Portal.

Besides the world-famous foreign musicians our own Estonian performers Hedvig Hanson, Tnu Naissoo, Meelis Vind, Liisi Koikson, Bonzo, Weekend Guitar Trio etc. also gave very memorable concerts.

More than 15 000 music-lovers came to hear the concerts of this year's festival. As the number of jazz concerts in Tallinn has increased substantially in recent years and the festival was so to say forced to try various different concert halls, the organizers are very pleased with the outcome.

The musical range of this year's Jazzkaar was incredibly varied and allowed for a great deal of room for exploration and discoveries. All of the foreign musicians were first-timers in Tallinn and at Jazzkaar, and therefore offered a great chance for the audience to get new experiences. A percussion-show like the one offered by PercaDu had never been seen before, and the kind of special magical festival project as presented by Eivor Palsdottir and Villu Veski had never taken place the Kaarli church. The festival featured traditional jazz and blues, ethno-jazz, modern jazz, rap jazz, club rhythms, electronic performances and much more, thus representing the entire variety and novelty of today's jazz world. Through the Estonian Radio Classical and Vikerraadio channels tens of dozens of listeners got to experience the concerts of Jazzkaar, many of which also make it to the European broadcasting through EBU. During two weeks the Estonian National Television also broadcasted the festival diaries. Jazzkaar was visited by journalists from Finland, Norway, England, Germany and Russia, who reviewed the events of the festival in their local publications.

The concerts of the festival were constantly reviewed by 25 people on the Jazzkaar webmagazine staff - 18 young journalists and 7 professional photographers, thanks to whom the web-site of the festival offers a thorough overview of nearly all concerts in the form of interviews, reviews, audience opinions and photo galleries.

About 50 young music lovers volunteered to make the festival as successful as possible.

The main supporters of the Festival were the Ministry of Culture, Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Cultural Heritage Department, Elion, Eesti Pevaleht, Sokos hotel Viru, Vikerraadio and Finnair, as well as several other authorities, enterprises and embassies.

Jazzkaar would like to express its gratitude to all the musicians, partners, journalists and the audience!

Anne Erm Jazzkaar Festivals Director/Estonian Radio Producer Gonsiori 21 Tallinn 10147 Estonia Tel/Fax (+372) 611 4487 Mobile (+372) 5551 4487 anne@jazzkaar.ee www.jazzkaar.ee

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